As much as your friendly bartender in the past has grappled with this thing called the cell phone (to wit: the annoying ring tones persisting at the bar while the call-ee decides if he wants to accept the call… the annoying ring tones at a Broadway play which have actually stopped the show, as some epicure of epic ass-holery confirms a dinner reservation… or the lack of a real conversation anymore as most people prefer pushing buttons on a gadget than the buttons of the person sitting next to them in lively debate), he’s finally found a reason to cheer its invention. Do miracles never cease?
Now you might find it rather a minuscule reason as it only applies to bartenders, but being a bartender I find it most worthy of discussion. But hey, before all that how ’bout I mix you a cocktail? You’re Hendrick’s and tonic with an extra lime, am I right? Yeah, I thought I remembered your face. Here ya’ go, dear.
But listen, before I begin my spiel I have a request. And that is, would you mind turning off your cell phone first, that way we won’t… whoa, take it easy, I was just kidding. (Wow!)
Okay, here’s the deal…
Remember all those scenes in all those old movies where the bartender would take a phone call, cover the receiver with the palm of his hand (remember the receiver???), then shout down the bar, “Hey, Joe, your wife’s on the phone… are you here?” Then Joe shakes his head in a panicky “No!” and the bartender is forced to lie, “No I ain’t seen him,”? Well that’s what I’m here to applaud, dear reader, the fact that I don’t have to lie anymore for Joe. Or Larry, Curly or Moe for that matter or anyone else who isn’t where they’re supposed to be. Because thanks to that wonderful tracking device tucked neatly in Joe’s breast pocket, that thing that everyone can’t do without called the cell phone, Joe’s never more than a ring tone away from his boss, secretary, wife, girlfriend, or loan shark. And for that I’m most grateful!
But before I come off like the founding father who couldn’t cut down that cherry tree without owning up to it, let me explain my views on this business of lying. See it’s not that I’m above telling little white lies or the massive prevarication if that’s what is called for, it’s just that your friendly bartender’s really, really bad at it. In fact he stinks at it!
Whether masking the fact that he’s raising the pot holding nothing but a pair of deuces, or spinning to a gal that his lateness is due to a subway problem, his face will develop enough facial tics to appear that its muscles have engaged in a full out samba dance. (Ole!!!) Yes even in grade school when your friendly bartender was merely your friendly student, and Sister Aloysius would ask why “in God’s name” he did something, though often in possession of a foolproof cover his burgeoning troupe of facial dancers were already skilled enough to cha-cha his ass into detention.
Which brings me to the point. For all the collateral damage of the cell phone along of course with its merits (roadside emergencies to name one), the cell phone is now a good thing for me as a bartender. For it’s finally rid me of having to do that dance. That’s right… let Larry, Curly and Moe do the samba while I, your truthful bartender, say six “Our Father’s”, six “Hail Mary’s” and six “Glory Be’s” to the Father, to ensure their lying asses don’t end up in Purgatory. So thank you, Technology!
And speaking of the Catholic Church I have a confession to make. Would you like another Hendrick’s before I fess up, miss? No, just water? Okay. Geez, I hope I haven’t caused you to get religion here. What’s that? Oh, you’re switching to something stronger but haven’t decided yet. (Yikes!)
Okay, here’s your double margarita and here’s my confession. A short while ago, believe it or not, I purchased my very first cell phone… much to my wary surprise and I’m sure yours. Yes, against all odds I’ve bravely gone where I swore I never would go, and now I’m one of those people plugged into the universe. But before you think I’m completely high tech and about to move my act to Silicon Valley, just know that I still don’t know what the hell I’m doing with the thing. (At least not completely.) For not only are there things up and down the menu that send me quite often into fits of “WTF?”, or that cause me to stop perfect strangers and ask for tech support, but if I’ve used the damn thing ten times in all… four times I’ve managed to take a picture of my shoes!
Miss, oh miss, hello? Would you mind addressing that buzzing sound in your purse??? Yeesh!
Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!
PS: Don’t mean to pop my buttons but I guess that’s what I’m doing here, I found (this nice surprise) last night when I got home. Thank you, Mr. W.